Amigas Latinas celebrated its 15-year anniversary with a quinceañera May 1 with its annual Siempre Latina gala at Center on Halsted. More than 150 supporters, mostly women, witnessed an awards program that included a drag king performance by Chi City Kings and poetry by La Dulce Palabra.
Amigas founding member Evette Cardona started the awards program with a moment of silence for longtime activist Renae Ogletree, whose memorial service was held earlier in the day. Organization President Rosa Yadira then awarded Tony Alvarado-Rivera and Ang Garcia with 2010 Community Awards for their long history of giving to the organization. Amita Lonial and Jacqueline Luna were also recognized for their volunteer work throughout the year.
For the scholarship portion of the program, Lourdes Torres said they could not reveal the identity of the awardee because she was an undocumented student. She used the moment to highlight the pressing issue of immigration reform and how it affects all, including LGBTs. Once the program concluded, guests enjoyed dancing, an open bar and delicious Mexican/Puerto-Rican fusion appetizers.
Amigas Latinas is a not-for-profit organization for Latina lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in Chicago. Photos and text by Emmanuel Garcia